In what must be the strangest football-related story of the year so far, Thurrock suffered a three-point deduction from the FA after fielding an illegitimate player.
So far so normal, but why was the player 'illegitimate'? The answer is he had failed to pay a previous fine - for just £16.
After Joel Barnett, the player in question, didn't pay his share of the unpaid fine that caused his old club in Yorkshire to fold, his appearance for Thurrock caused the FA to deduct them three points, resulting in their relegation to the Ryman Division North.
Owner Tommy South said he was 'devastated' at the FA's decision to reject his club's appeal against the original points deduction, bemoaning the 'mitigating circumstances' surrounding the issue, which he described as a 'real mess'.
"I feel like I don't want to be involved in football any more," South told reporters. He also said that he would appeal again after branding the decision a 'disgrace' due to the fact that Thurrock were apparently only informed of their immediate relegation after the season's end.
In a faintly comic quote, South defended his club's actions by saying: "Joel [Barnett] should have told us but he never knew because he was in prison," summing up the classic amateur football story of disorganisation.
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